We are in downsizing mode. Again. This time we are packing for the trip to California where we are scheduled for a 5-month work/camp stay at Kenney Grove Park in Fillmore, through the winter and spring. We get a free camp site with full hookups in exchange for some part-time handyman work and camp hosting, an opportunity that Kaye found on the Workers On Wheels website.
Then around June 1st, we head north up the coast highway on our epic journey to Alaska. We probably won’t get back to Michigan until August.
We have been down this road before, but not quite this far. It’s the weight of everything that’s the biggest consideration this time, and I do mean weight — as in pounds and ounces. We are moving into a 29-foot fifth wheel RV that will be our home for the next few years. We have to cross the continental divide several times in the next year, hauling this rig and every bit of cargo we put into it.
So, the importance of each item has to be weighed in terms of its actual usefulness. Too many heavy things will result in higher fuel consumption and engine work load.
This is where we part with our decorative knick knacks and pottery collection. The 12-piece cookware set will be left in storage and a single skillet selected. The glass cookie jars are out, the light weight plastic containers are in. The toolbox will be culled until only the most essential tools are included. My piano and organ are going into storage. I’ve already moved to on-line banking so I don’t need to carry much of an office, so even the office supplies will be reduced to a bare minimum.
This is a deeper level of downsizing than we have experienced up until now. Three years ago we started sorting and pitching so we could move out of our 10-room house and into a one-room log cabin. A lot of our stuff just went into storage sheds, even after we had yard sales and umpteen Craigslist listings to reduce our inventory.
But this is where the rubber meets the road. Actually. Because there is only so much space in the RV and only the essential necessities will pass muster.
This can be really difficult. Kaye is a book lover who had a library in the big house with hundreds of volumes. Now she will carry a dozen titles at most. Fortunately, she owns a Kindle and has it loaded with hundreds of digitized books — which are weightless.
And I am leaving my workshop locked up at home with all of my prized power tools and sawhorses; I’m only taking one toolbox, and there’s no room in it for a table saw or a chainsaw. I’m hoping we don’t have a repeat of our earlier Smokey Mountain encounter where we came around a bend in a narrow mountain road and found a tree down across the road. I had to use my small campfire axe to cut it in two so we could get through.
Well, it looks as though we will leave the Michigan log cabin around December 28th for our westward winter wanderings — which will turn into our spring and summer sojourns.
With careful packing, our load will be light enough to climb every mountain with ease. And our adventurous spirits will reach new heights as well!